Computers

US Lottery Security Boss charged with Fraud

Multi State Lottery Association Logo

A former security boss is charged with hacking the computer that picks the winning numbers. Eddie Raymond Tipton worked in Multi State Lottery Association as a director and was arrested in January by the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigations.

Tipton was caught on CCTV buying the winning ticket but the $14.3m prize was not claimed and Tipton denies the alleged charges.

The prosecutors say that Tipton has hacked the main computer that generates the random numbers used to regulate lottery winners. The computer is offline and is in a glass room, the security protocol is very high as 2 people are needed to access the computer at the same time, additionally, the computer can only be accessed by 2 people and there is constant video monitoring.

Prosecutors says that Tipton as the security director had access to change the settings of the video camera to record only one second in every minute. By doing this, Tipton could have easily sneaked in the room with enough time to plug a thumb drive on the computer.

A computer program known as rootkit was used. The program is designed to complete its task and then delete itself. Prosecutors say that the task was to predetermine the winner which was Tipton but he never claimed the lottery.

Mike McLaughlin, senior analyst at computer security company First Base, said that the allegation is plausible, he said further that it is possible the a rootkit was installed via a USB device and it would only take a second to run once plugged.

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